Holy Rule for June 19
Prayers, please, for Father John Corapi, and for his accuser, that if the allegations are false, the accuser repents, and for Father Corapi to do God's will.
Please pray for Elaine's father, John, 98, who is hospitalized in poor condition, and unable to have the surgery he needs, and for his son John, his caretaker who is trying to keep a close eye on his father's care at the hospital. Pray for Elaine and her family, as well. They plan to travel across the country to visit her family, and hope that her father holds on to life until they can get there.
Prayers please for Catherine... that she gets the new job at her company that she so much wants and whichseema to be perfect for her.
Please pray for Diane. She just discovered that she has cancer in her pelvis and her spine. They are unsure at this point where it is originating from. She has a week of tests and doctor visits ahead of her.
Prayers of thanksgiving and Deo gratias for Gergory one year with his new kidney on June 18. Also prayers for his donor that she be blest with good health.
Deo Gratias. We prayed for Lavinia this time last year, and it happened that the medical team decided against surgery for her tumour.
This year she came home with the news that her tumour has reduced by 7 centimetres!! She was insistent that I 'thank everybody'!
Prayers for Mary Eleanor, a chronic kidney condition flared up and she has gout in her right foot.
Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will
is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so
February 18, June 19, October 19
Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said
From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
let "Alleluia" be said
both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent
let it be said every night
with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only.
On every Sunday, however, outside of Lent,
the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None
shall be said with "Alleluia,"
but Vespers with antiphons.
The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia"
except from Easter to Pentecost.
When I lived in the Byzantine rite for a very happy while, one of the
things that surprised me was the fact that they still used Alleluia
in Lent. That sounded strange to my Western ears, but not for long.
For some folks, Alleluia has become virtually nothing but a synonym
for "Hooray!" In the East, not so. Our Western connection of Alleluia
as primarily a word of rejoicing reserved for happy times is not
quite on the mark, with all due apologies to St. Benedict and the
rest of Western tradition.
When was the last time you stopped to think that "Amen" really
meant "So be it"? I do now and then, but usually just parrot the word
out without a thought. So it is with most people saying
Alleluia. "Oh, yeah, uh...alleluia...." Alleluia means "Praise the
Lord." Focus on this and one can readily see why the East still says
it during Lent.
Of course, St. Benedict's prescriptions here are a perfect blend of
change and variety for the Office. They "dress up" the most festive
times of the years and provide a break from the ordinary. Probably
what St. Benedict had in mind at the time was that our hearts should
be so full at Paschaltide that no other words would do: only the
ineffable stammering out of "Alleluia!!" would convey our joy. He
wasn't wrong about that, but saying Alleluia mindlessly misses the
So, forgive me, does saying Alleluia only at joyous times. The
charismatic movement in the 1970's made popular the English
equivalent of Alleluia: "Praise the Lord!" It was an expression of
joy and gratitude for whatever God had done for one. Ah, but then
the "whatever" part of that phrase soon came to be evident! A very
clever catch phrase evolved for those times when things WEREN'T so
great, when one had difficulty appreciating what sometimes seems like
God's decidedly strange sense of humor. On such occasions, they
said: "Praise the Lord Anyhow!" Now that one is probably closer to
the real sense of "Alleluia!"
Our Office and Mass may change in Lent in the Western tradition, but
our hearts must always and everywhere, in every circumstance,
say "Alleluia!" and really mean it, really know it.
Love and prayers and Alleluia!
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A blessed Easter to all! Christ is risen, truly He is risen!!
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temproal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Luke, house sale - his house has been on the market for over a year and he really needs to sell it and downsize after the end of a long-term relationship.
Deo Gratias, V. has been offered and very limited place next year on the post-graduate course of his dreams...now he needs the money to pay for it.
Funding for D. to further his studies, or inspiration for something even better.
Continued prayers for baby Grace and her family. She is stable but still on oxygen in the house 24/7, and is waiting to see a specialist.
Jual, young mother of three battling breast cancer. Nodules found in her lung. Having surgery Sunday.
Prayers for safe journey, and back, for an extended family going on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land for almost 2 weeks, and prayers for a wonderful time.
Lord help us all
as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace.
God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
April 8, August 8, December 8
Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren
For bedding let this suffice:
a mattress, a blanket, a coverlet and a pillow.
The beds, moreover, are to be examined frequently by the Abbot,
to see if any private property be found in them.
If anyone should be found to have something
that he did not receive from the Abbot,
let him undergo the most severe discipline.
And in order that this vice of private ownership
may be cut out by the roots,
the Abbot should provide all the necessary articles:
cowl, tunic, stockings, shoes, belt,
knife, stylus, needle, handkerchief, writing tablets;
that all pretext of need may be taken away.
Yet the Abbot should always keep in mind
the sentence from the Acts of the Apostles
that "distribution was made to each according as anyone had need"
In this manner, therefore,
let the Abbot consider weaknesses of the needy
and not the ill-will of the envious.
But in all his decisions
let him think about the retribution of God.
There is a tendency, both within the cloister and without, to hunt
for dramatic ascetic practices, while ignoring the truly more
difficult matters that lack the fanfare. Lights! Camera! Action! We
must always be wary of the Nora Desmonds of our hearts, who are
always willing to say, a la Sunset Boulevard: "I'm ready for my close-
up now, Mr. DeMille." How we do love to star, even at self-
Well, there's two bad pieces of new for Ms. Desmond et al. First the
penances we choose are usually not the most effective ones. The
best ones are imposed by God or our situation of daily duty and they
become tremendous means of grace when we patiently embrace them.
Second, the ones we do choose can be terrible risks for pride, which
undoes our efforts so insidiously.
What on earth does this have to do with the current chapter? Easy-
and very, very hard, too! The great ascesis here is to aim at
limiting ourselves to "all the necessary articles." There is a
challenge here for everyone from Abbot Primate to newest Oblate
novice. It is a challenge we shall likely never meet fully in life,
so it is something we can always be profitably picking at!
Do you know anyone at all, in any vocation, who has absolutely
nothing beyond what they need? I have known a few; alas I cannot
say it of myself. I think this is an area where we can all look at a challenging
grace-filled ascetic struggle that is placed on us by the Holy Rule.
Down-sizing actually feels great, once one gets over the consumerist
terror of doing so! One will quickly find that, in this area, less
really *IS* more, (unlike poetry and art, architecture and liturgy,
alas...! Minimalism there gets old fast...) We become freer when we
let go of things which hold us more than we realize.
We can get buried in things we are saving to complete unfinalized
plans that will never come to fruition, and while we save them, we
are disheartened by our own failure to use them. Jettison, m'dears,
jettison. As the one Desert Father used to say to the brethren,"Flee,
brothers, flee!" so do I say: "Jettison!"
This has the further charm of fitting well into a depressive's sofa
paralysis, too. Recall how I told you about that resolution to make
three things, no matter how tiny, better each day? Works here, too!
And you will often find to your delight that the trip to dumpster or thrift
shop donation includes 7, 8, or more things!
Keep chipping away and the mountain of our false hearts' desires,
beloveds. And one day may all those chips be ground to sand and may
we stand together on level, smooth quartz
sand, confronted by nothing but the dazzling ocean of God's
unfathomable mercy and love!
Love and prayers,
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